It’s been a fairly tumultuous post-Sonic Youth period for Thurston Moore. He’s moved to London, put out a couple of records with two different bands, and there’s been a change in his personal life (one that he’s sick of being written and questioned about, with good reason). Last night his post-Chelsea Light Moving band hit town and played a large chunk of their just-released record to a reasonably full house at The Sinclair.
“It’s good to be back at The Sinclair Rock and Roll club,” joked the lanky mangler, who also quizzed the audience about what landmark record had been released exactly 45 years ago, promising a sip of Deb’s vodka and soda to the correct guesser. My vocalized guess of The Stooges’ debut was met with Thurston questioning my math skills, but it turns out that 1969 was also the year when the correct answer of Led Zeppelin II dropped. “It’s still in Byron’s to-play pile,” Thurston commented, referring to the prodigious record collection of longtime friend and esteemed rock critic Byron Coley, who was upstairs in the balcony.
Sonically speaking, it’s hard to imagine Moore making significant changes to his sound and approach, and that’s not the case with The Best Day. The material is tighter than his previous record, and also hearkens back to Sonic Youth in a different way. Under moody blue lighting and a projected slideshow of amorphous colors and shapes, longtime cohort Steve Shelley on drums lent his minimal cymbal approach to drive the songs, and My Bloody Valentine bass player Deb Googe knows how to spar with bursts of noise coming from the guitar amp and keep things anchored.
Relative unknown James Sedwards was the key difference tonight, mostly playing complementary lines in a style much different than Ranaldo’s, but also letting loose on the title track with a bona fide guitar hero solo, something that’s pretty foreign to Moore’s work.
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